Okay, so I don’t think it’s any great secret out there that I love coffee. Some might say it’s less like love and more like a neurotic compulsion, but they’re just jealous that my devotion to this little bean runs so deep and that I won’t speak to anyone in full sentences until I’ve had a cup or two…maybe three.
Brewed coffee should be rich, robust and–in my humble opinion–only medium roasted. I am definitely not a fan of dark roasts. I want to taste all of the flavors the coffee beans have to offer (it’s a lot like wine tasting!). Dark roasts don’t give you that. They linger in boldness with a smokiness that tastes like…well, like you’re licking the bottom of an ashtray. Not that I’ve licked the bottom of an ashtray (that anyone can prove), but a long time ago in a place far, far away I used to smoke and I remember well the smell and taste of stale smoke in your mouth. That, to me, is what darks roasts tastes like–burned and ashy. But, like wine, it takes all types, so if dark roasts are your cup of
tea coffee, then enjoy and I’ll rejoice that there’s more medium roast for me.
Espresso should be golden and thick, but silky smooth and quite frankly, it should look like you’ve just pulled a shot of Guinness (which perhaps is why I love espresso so!). If you’re adding milk, it should be frothy and creamy and full-bodied and preferably breve. But I’ll forgive you if adding half & half is pushing your comfort level…you’d be wrong, but then again, you probably like dark roast ;- )
Enter Café Grumpy. It is, beyond a doubt, one of the best cups of coffee I’ve had in my life. It is by far THE BEST cappuccino I’ve had in NYC. Presentation is great, but in the end it’s all about the coffee and the coffee is amazing. I may or may not (read: I AM) drooling while I type. It’s rich, it’s full bodied, it has a hint–a tiiiiiiiiiny hint–of anise seed. The beans are freshly roasted (in Brooklyn!) and you can taste how fresh they are. The foam in my cappuccino brazenly sticks to my spoon, as I whirled it around delicately not wanting to disturb the heart my barista made for me.
The café itself is literally very unassuming–Des and I walked right by it and had to turn back around once we realized we had gone too far. You only notice it when you are standing right in front of it. And the most amazing part (aside from the coffee, of course)? No laptops allowed. There are also no outlets, which admittedly I was slightly put off by because I was wanting to charge my phone. However after I got over my initial astonishment, I realized that smack dab in the middle of Chelsea is a beautiful little place tucked away from the harshness that is NYC and focuses on taking bringing back the true meaning of coffee break: great coffee and conversation (or great coffee and time to yourself)!
So when you go to NYC (or live here and go to Chelsea), go to Café Grumpy–and as a thank you, take me with you! ;- )